Just Transitions in Energy, Water, and Agriculture

Responding to climate change will require sweeping changes to fossil-fueled energy and agricultural systems. Divestment from fossil fuels impacts not only workers in those industries, but also communities whose livelihoods have been tied to extraction. Meanwhile, the expansion of renewable infrastructure raises new environmental justice issues, and mitigation goals are being used as a justification to further expand problematic technologies such as nuclear energy. In agriculture, climate impacts are changing growing seasons and increasing pressure on already-stressed watersheds, while new technologies offer promise as well as ethical challenges. Our research highlights emerging challenges regarding how the costs and benefits of these changes will be distributed, and who decides.

Topics in this Research Stream:

  • Planning community transitions for fossil fuel independence 
  • Energy and environmental justice 
  • Workers’ organization and mobilization in transition 
  • Food sovereignty and just transitions in agriculture 
  • Social dimensions of science and technology 
  • Reparative and restorative justice in transitions
  • Documenting injustices and risks associated with nuclear energy and other proposed solutions to climate change


Research Products and Publications

Makhijani, Arjun, and M. V. Ramana. “Can Small Modular Reactors Help Mitigate Climate Change?” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 77, no. 4 (2021): 207–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/00963402.2021.1941600.

Downer, John, and M. V. Ramana. “Empires Built on Sand: On the Fundamental Implausibility of Reactor Safety Assessments and the Implications for Nuclear Regulation.” Regulation & Governance 15, no. 4 (2021): 1304–25. https://doi.org/10.1111/rego.12300.

James, Dana and Evan Bowness. Growing and Eating Sustainably: Agroecology and the Future of Food. Fernwood Publishing. (2021)

On this page